Are all of your business processes aligned seamlessly? What about your software programs? When it comes to different software platforms, we think two that you shouldn’t go without are: a marketing automation platform and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. There are many different marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo and Pardot. A few CRM systems to consider are: Salesforce, Oracle, SugarCRM, Zoho and Microsoft Dynamics.
Once you have your Marketing Automation and CRM systems up and running, getting them connected or integrated is key. Both your sales and marketing teams can leverage these platforms. Below are a few reasons why you should integrate and a couple tips along the way.
Lead Scoring = Reaching Out to the Right People
Lead scoring is an objective system for ranking leads. While there are a few different methods you can take for lead scoring, all really have the same end goal: preparing your sales team for proper lead follow-up.
Integrating your Marketing Automation system with your CRM is certainly ideal, especially when you implement lead scoring. Lead scoring ensures you are following-up with the right people, and aren’t wasting your time on the leads that don’t matter (or don’t matter yet).
For example: you have a new lead on your website, they are exploring the site and checking out your Top of the Funnel (TOTF) offers, such as a whitepaper or a checklist on best practices. They know they have a problem that needs to be solved, but don’t quite have a solution in mind. Knowing this, we would not want to reach out to these types of leads just yet. Instead of bringing them into your CRM system, we would leave them in the Marketing Automation system, nurturing them via drip campaigns before we get them into the next stage of the funnel.
TIP: Be sure to sit down with your sales team and define what the threshold should be before leads enter into your CRM system. For example: if a lead fills out a TOTF offer, they might earn 15 points. If they come back and fill out a Middle of the Funnel (MOTF) form, they will earn an additional 25 points. If the threshold is set for 40 points, this particular lead would only make it into CRM once they filled out the MOTF offer.
The Hand Off from Marketing to Sales
At SyncShow, we talk a lot about “Smarketing.” This is a term coined by the founders of HubSpot used to describe the new shift in sales and marketing. Essentially, it means integrating both the sales and marketing teams to focus on common goals.
We hear from many sales teams about how excited they are to start Inbound Marketing because it is so helpful for them to get leads in a way they never did before. Instead of buying lists and cold calling, they are basically being handed a qualified lead on a silver platter. Giving your marketing team visibility to your CRM system helps ensure a clean hand-off from marketing to sales. The marketing team attracted the right leads, engaged with them and collected data on them, now they are ready to hand off to sales.
If properly integrated, your sales team will be able to see everything in CRM that this lead did since they first visited the site and submitted their information.
TIP: Hold a cross-functional meeting with your sales and marketing teams to improve your processes. The sales team can provide feedback to the marketing team on the quality of leads they are receiving. The marketing team can take this information and revisit the content they currently have on-site - maybe they need to tweak an offer or totally get rid of it because it is not performing as it was intended. On the flip-side, the marketing team can update the sales team on new data from a current lead - maybe a lead came back to the site and downloaded another offer on a topic totally unrelated to their first few downloads, leading to cross-selling opportunities.
What other benefits have you seen from integrating your Marketing Automation and CRM? I’d love to hear more of what has worked for you – please leave a comment below.